3 positions Jacksonville Jaguars must address this offseason
A piece for the secondary is something that the Jacksonville Jaguars need badly.
As previously mentioned, the Jags aren’t exactly in the best position as far as salary cap space is concerned. In an effort to get under the cap, the Jags are expected to cut cornerback Shaquill Griffin, which would save them $13.15 million dollars in cap space.
Griffin is widely considered the biggest swing-and-miss free agent addition the Jags have made in the past few off-seasons.
He was signed to become the number-one option in the defensive backfield but after up-and-down play and an injury-hampered 2022 season, it appears it is time to move on.
The good news for the Jags, however, is that cornerback Tyson Campbell has developed into a very nice starting outside corner. If he continues to develop, he can ultimately take over the number-one cornerback job. Whether that is in 2023 or later on, is to be determined.
The Jags signed cornerback Darious Williams to a three-year, $30 million contract ($18 million guaranteed) last offseason to man the nickel back duties.
When Griffin went on IR with a back injury after week 6, however, the team inserted Williams at nickel instead of moving him outside, which is where he had previously flourished with the Los Angeles Rams.
When the Jags finally moved him to the outside in week 14, he showed that he still feels most comfortable there as he only allowed nine catches for 96 yards for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs.
The Jags seem to now have two proven outside cornerbacks but they now need to find a reliable nickel back.
The Jaguars lined up in a nickel package on 66.5% of their defensive plays in 2022, which ended up being the fifth-highest percentage in the league.
If they wish to continue their defensive momentum heading into 2023, they need to find a third cornerback who is comfortable defending the slot.
The best option may be to find a talented nickel back through the draft. This could even be the position the Jaguars target in the first round, as there will likely be some premier talent at pick number 25 still up for grabs.
Prospects such as Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State) or Cam Smith (South Carolina) would be great additions if they’re still available at that point.
Both have proven to be reliable and explosive cornerbacks against SEC competition and could ultimately take over one of the outside spots down the road if needed.